Star Trek Beyond is the third entry in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot trilogy and the thirteenth entry in Star Trek film franchise as a whole. Directed by Justin Lin (Fast Five), the film stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, Sofia Boutella, Simon Pegg.
“After stopping off at Starbase Yorktown, a remote outpost on the fringes of Federation space, the USS Enterprise is halfway into their five-year mission, and is heavily attacked by an unstoppable wave of unknown aliens forcing the crew to abandon ship. With the crew stranded on an unknown planet and with no apparent means of rescue, they find themselves in conflict with a new sociopathic enemy (Idris Elba) who has a well-earned hatred of the Federation and what it stands for.”
J. J Abrams accomplished what he wanted in terms of bringing back Gene Roddenberry’s visionary TV series Star Trek into the modern world. Complete with stand-out special effects and astonishing storytelling that grips you onto the edge of your seat, his rebooted franchise proved to be successful as it was praised by critics and the general mass alike for having distinction. With a new director on board, definitely, a new direction for the rebooted series is guaranteed. But it just turns out that this meant a very much welcome change of pace, introducing a new flavor that gets to season this latest installment while also having some of the elements that we had cherished from Abrams’ vision. Its in this film’s identity to have fun, to release its inner spirit that is sure to make its viewers totally refreshed what with its light paving a new path that somewhat diminishes the serious and stark feel that its predecessors had brought. Some fans of the 60s TV series that spoke ill about the 2009 reboot and its 2013 sequel should find this threequel very enticing. Firing all of its thrusters at full blast, Star Trek Beyond moves at a faster rate, taking you deep into space where the good ol’ sci-fi blockbuster amusement locks you in for an evidently enthused ride full of rock ‘n roll moments-keeping a smile onto its face in the midst of darker, chaotic themes that it tries to push in.
It is indeed lightweight, and for that it gains a lot of easy-to -bite filmic supplements needed for it to become amazing all throughout. However, its lack of a straight face causes some delirious consequences in its filmmaking aspects-some of which delivered a somewhat hollow narrative that could’ve been filled a little more. But nonetheless, it fulfills its job to move forward toward unique territories that would have some claiming that Star Trek Beyond could be as close as we’d get in having a superb modern update of the old Star Trek TV show without ever resulting into infuriating and self-damaging absurdity. Justin Lin shows off what he could do best with the track that he has set his cast in, as every member is shown to be having a great time in being a part of this entry. Agreeably though, this is where the characterization pales in contrast to their performances from the previous installments. This is the aspect where Abrams’ presence and guidance was heavily needed for it bared the shortcomings of each character and the entire crew as a whole. Their individuality and singularity as a crew made some good, heart string-pulling moments in the process, but at the same time, there was just something missing in them-something to be desired deeply.
The whole Kirk-Spock bromance is still at the coast of its ever-witty edge, but sadly, neither of them were quite memorable in spite of them still having some sweet moments at play. The entire supporting cast felt underused as well, furthermore concluding that Beyond’s concept and idea of family leaves little to no impact at all, and this element may seem to have been established right from the moment they get torn apart. Keeping them together back again in a wholly involving fashion may have been seen as a huge task for its writers, but thankfully, because of that, we also got to explore the gifts that it had in store for us in the form of a new color to be seen and a new flavor to be tasted exposed at its forefront. Simon Pegg and Doug Jung’s screenwriting may have its fair share of weaknesses, but overall, its color-splattered, outgoing quality really is something as it keeps in touch with what made its franchise so beloved-the mixture of all-out absurd fun and breathtaking spectacle; all of which Pegg and Jung had delivered in heaps. Whether it’s because of its dialogue splashed with heart and wit or its captivating action sequences, Star Trek Beyond deserves to stand rightfully among its equally praised peers-most particularly for showing boldness in following a new route that led itself to a different kind of brilliance.
Any moment, no matter how big or small shall be embraced warmly, despite the subtle overflow of flaws oozing out of its state of indulgence. Forgivable its errors might be, they still remain in the spot where they sit in silence as its more delightful side generates some noise that it couldn’t retaliate against-simply because they had not been provided with enough potency to keep itself positioned in balance. The antagonist too, is downplayed, down to a level where his menacing visage in the form of a makeup-covered Idris Elba is deemed underwhelming. Almost up to the point where his threat could only be seen as a trigger to pull off more of the grandiose sequences that the film itself wants to harness in eagerness and dedication. Swiftly running past through its storytelling is the warmth of the vibe that it fortifies through its homages to Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock. This plot point served as an authentic and bittersweet farewell to the adored and unforgettable actor and another relish of Pegg’s that could easily be taken as marvelously fantastic for different reasons as well. It is this kind of touch that makes Beyond so enjoyable and solid for a blockbuster-it stores, applies, yet it also forgets knowledge about its wants and needs in carrying out its duties, but nonetheless, it brings us all in for a rollicking 2 hours of space-themed grandeur that would see you getting engaged and stunned as you cinematically Trek like never before.
* Star Trek Beyond is still showing in PH cinemas from United International Pictures Philippines.